One of the things that got me into watches was James Bond. And some of the first automatic watches I bought were Orient. I think they’re a great deal for the money. They look nice, they work reasonably well, and they have a nice fit and finish. Certainly much better than some other brands I have. They are not perfect, but Seiko is the probably only better deal out there in automatics.
Another thing I really appreciate about them is their style. Seiko is a little bland in this department in my opinion. Which is why I’m concentrating on Orients in this post. They have definite influences, but each of their watches are their own unique creations as well. They’re not “homage” watches so much as “inspired” watches.
So, I thought I’d investigate which Orient watches are the most inspired by the Rolexes and Omegas that James Bond wears. I’m going to concentrate on the literary character, the Sean Connery Bond, and the Daniel Craig Bond.
According to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian FlemingJames james Bond’s watch is a – “Rolex Oyster Perpetual Chronometer on an expanding metal bracelet”. The internet defines this watch as a Rolex Explorer -http://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=120138
The defining characteristics of this Explorer are the cushion case, the “Mercedes” hands and the 3, 6, and 9 fifteen minute markers along with the triangle 12 o’clock marker.
Inspired Orient – Mako FEM65001BW
So they’re aren’t any Orient’s that really look like that old Rolex explorer with the cushion case. There used to be a model that looked closer to the modern day Explorers called the Chicane, but that has been discontinued. The Mako is the watch in the current lineup that is closest. It has has similar font numbers, but they are at 6, 9, and 12. It has the baton hour markers like the Explorer. But the hands are much different and there is not a no-date option for this model.
Connery as Bond
Bond’s Watch in Dr. No – Rolex Submariner Oyster Perpetual wristwatch 6538
Perhaps the most famous of Bond waches. This one is known for it’s Mercedes hands, the look of the Bezel, and the multiple types of hour markers.
Inspired – Orient Ray FEM65008B9
This is one of the Orient’s were it’s actually bordering on outright homage. The bezel looks almost identical. There is an extra pusher, which is for the date; the James Bond Submariner is a no-date model. Instead of a an upside-down triangle at 12 o’clock the Ray has a more trapezoid shape. The other hour markers are a bit fatter and not as sleek. The biggest difference is the hands, which are not Mercedes hands on the Ray.
Craig as Bond
Bond’s Watch in Skyfall – Omega SEAMASTERPLANET OCEAN 600 M CO-AXIAL 42 MM
The Omega Planet Ocean is itself inspired by previous Omega Seamaster and Rolex Submariners. The defining characteristics would have to be the bubble hands, the contrastingly large hour markers and the date pusher on the left side of the crown.
Inspired Orient – Orient Mako FEM65001BW
There really isn’t anything Orient makes that is inspired by the Planet Ocean. Once again, the Mako is the closet thing in terms of looks, but it also takes significant style cues from the Rolex Submariners and Explorers. With the date setup the Mako probably matches this better than the Explorer.
Bond’s 2nd Watch in Skyfall – Omega SEAMASTER AQUA TERRA 150 M CO-AXIAL 38.5 MM
The blue vertical lined background and the triangluar hour markers give this watch it’s sharp looks.
Inspired Orients – Orient Brazen\Orient Star Standard Date
The Brazen is a little too big at 42 MM and a little too roundish. It is not as refined as the Aqua Terra. It looks quite a bit more grade school.
The Standard-Star Date looks closer and is only 40mm. But it doesn’t come with an aqua face. and costs 600 dollars more. At almost 900 dollars that’s about almost half of what the non-aqua faced Aqua Terras are going for on Amazon.
All of these Orients are fine looking wathces in their own right. You can see they may have been inspired by the official James Bond watches, but they have their own unique feels to them. I have the Ray in a blue face version and I think it looks great and it wears well on my wrist. I’m thinking of putting it on NATO strap to make it even more James Bond-y.
Finally, just for fun there is another Orient I think is inspired by James Bond. The Goldeneye. It doesn’t really look like any of the Bond watches, but it has a great style all it’s own and has the same name as Bond movie. It was discontinued but it looks like it’s now back in stock.